Structural fingerprinting in the transmission electron microscope: overview and opportunities to implement enhanced strategies for nanocrystal identification
This paper illustrates the prospective need for structural fingerprinting methods for nanocrystals. A review of the existing fingerprinting methods for crystal structures by means of transmission electron microscopy which work for a single setting of the specimen goniometer is given. Suggestions are made on how some of these methods could be enhanced when nanocrystals and novel instrumentation are involved, i.e. when either the kinematic or quasi-kinematic scattering approximations are sufficiently well satisfied. A novel strategy for lattice-fringe fingerprinting of nanocrystals from Fourier transforms of high-resolution phase contrast transmission electron microscopy images is briefly outlined. Nanocrystal structure specific limitations to the application of this strategy are discussed. An appeal is made to share the structural data of nanocrystals freely over the internet and infrastructure that would allow this sharing is mentioned. A shorter version of this paper has been accepted for publication in a special issue on the Structure of Nanocrystals of the Zeitschrift fuer Kristallographie, International journal for structural, physical, and chemical aspects of crystalline materials.